Essence STX = no need for standalone amp?
Nov 27, 2009 at 9:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

Neet

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If I bought the Essence STX I wouldn't need a headphone amp right? I was going to buy the MKIII but some people said the amp on the STX is better then their £300 amp. Also if I bought an STX instead of just an amp then my speakers can also benefit too.
 
Nov 27, 2009 at 9:52 PM Post #2 of 27

leeperry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Neet /img/forum/go_quote.gif
some people said the amp on the STX is better than their £300 amp.


do they appear to be meth heads? the STX HP amp is a $2.25 IC...even a Corda Arietta kills it.
 
Nov 27, 2009 at 10:40 PM Post #3 of 27

maarek99

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
do they appear to be meth heads? the STX HP amp appears to be a $2.25 IC.


That means they are smarter as they save 297.75 dollars to be used for example, music.
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Nov 27, 2009 at 11:27 PM Post #5 of 27

Neet

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So should I buy the little dot and the stx? Amp my headphones from my little dot which is also amped from my soundcards amp
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 2:56 AM Post #6 of 27

Necrolic

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Use the front line out rather than the headphone line out, so that you avoid the double amping. Double amping = bad.

But yeah, the STX amp from what I hear is pretty awful. Some soundcards (AuzenTech Forte/HTHD) have decent built in headphone amps, but will still benefit from a good external amplifier. In the price range you have for an amp, any sound card will benefit from an external amp.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 3:57 AM Post #7 of 27

12Bass

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The headphone amplifier chip used in the ST/STX, the TPA6120A2, is one of the better single device solutions out there, and is probably superior to many inexpensive headphone amps based upon standard op amps. I don't doubt that there are better amps out there, but not without significant cost.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 12:50 PM Post #8 of 27

drewfus420

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The STX is a great card, and will power your cans better than nearly all sound cards (except maybe the Claro Halo). The progression once you get this card will probably look something like this:
run card with stock op amps for a month or so
roll some other op amps for a while
break down for some HDAM's (Audio GD or Burson)
then you will most likely drop the $ for a dedicated headphone amp and run it from the line/front channel out

That is how it progressed for me, and it seems like there are quite a few others that have gone a similar route.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 12:58 PM Post #9 of 27

drewfus420

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oh... and once you've burned in your tube amp, and rolled in some sexy tubes you will start shopping for an external DAC and new 'phones.
again, sorry bout yer wallet.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 1:00 PM Post #10 of 27

leeperry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 12Bass /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The headphone amplifier chip used in the ST/STX, the TPA6120A2, is one of the better single device solutions out there, and is probably superior to many inexpensive headphone amps based upon standard op amps. I don't doubt that there are better amps out there, but not without significant cost.


thoppa already discussed this, apparently it needs quite a lot juice to sound good...like 30V or so? it's fed w/ 12V on the STX, and it sounds edgy and agressive.

the STX is great as an appetizer to what your headphones could offer you...indeed, then your upgraditis will lead you to discrete op-amps and a nice external amp
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Nov 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM Post #11 of 27

Neet

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Yeah screw it I'll buy both, dedicated amp first then the STX. I won't need anything else I know I got the right headphones. Maybe a DAC but that's it and that's if I don't buy the STX.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 4:32 PM Post #12 of 27

ROBSCIX

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That is probably the best bet. The line outs on the STX are superior to the headphone output anyway.
Line out: 124dB SNR, Dynamic Range
Can out: 117 SNR, Dynamic Range

While many newer cards have built in headphones amplifiers of one type or another. These can amps are great if you don't have the cash or desire to buy an external unit. None of these circuits will compare with a high quality external can amplifier. Mind you that you would be paying probably the price of the card or more just for the can amp. Connecting the STX to a quality external can amp will give you some great sound for your cans. Enjoy.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 4:40 PM Post #13 of 27

ROBSCIX

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
thoppa already discussed this, apparently it needs quite a lot juice to sounds good...like 30V or so? it's fed 12V on the STX, and it sounds edgy and agressive.


Maybe you should read it again or do a bit of studying. 30 Volts is the Maximum amount of voltage for this amplifier chip. Your quit off in your understanding as it is fed 12V. However,It is fed 12V for each swing....So that is +12 and -12 so 24 volts. Pretty close to the maximum voltage of this chip.
Everybody has different tastes in sound signature and many that own the STX enjoy the can amp very much and others do not.
Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the STX is great as an appetizer to what your headphones could offer you...indeed, then your upgraditis will lead you to discrete op-amps and a nice external amp
confused_face.gif



There is always something better no matter what your using. Not everybody thinks that discrete opamps are a upgrade over integrated opamps. That is a preference only..
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM Post #14 of 27

MrGreen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBSCIX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Line out: 124dB SNR, Dynamic Range
Can out: 117 SNR, Dynamic Range



The chances of you actually getting these measurements in a non-watercooled PC running at extremely low temperatures (we're talking -60 C or lower), with virtually no other equipment is incredibly low (in fact, I'd say impossibe due to the noise floor of components you need in a PC).
Expecting something more along hte lines of 102dB SNR for the line out is far more reasonable.

These were most likely measured in a faraday cage in a computer tweaked excessively to produce these results.

I have heard dacs with far lower SNR that sound much much 'blacker'.

If you're going to get an external amp OP (which I would recommend), get an external dac aswell. That way you eliminate the RFI present inside your computer.

Another option of course is to get the STX and stick with headphones that dont need a powerful amp.

I've got a MKIII at the moment. It is very good for a particular sound, but it doesn't really seem to do that well with detail retreival and has a bit of a bass boost and a rolloff in the high.. I like it a bit more than the STX although I'd say it probably sounds less black than the STX (although I have to turn it nearly all the way up on its lowest or second lowest gain setting to hear fuzz).

I'm using it with stock power tubes and big shield m8100s
Whether you like this or not is up to you, of course.
 
Nov 28, 2009 at 5:29 PM Post #15 of 27

xnor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MrGreen /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Expecting something more along hte lines of 102dB SNR for the line out is far more reasonable.
...
I have heard dacs with far lower SNR that sound much much 'blacker'.



Wow, so you've listened to -102dB blackness.


Seriously, What are you talking about?
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